By Anna Ilona Mussmann
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Moms sometimes feel alone in the deep dark trenches of childrearing. They need to hear that they’re not the only ones who sometimes hide in the closet to eat chocolate. At the same time, though, we paint a false picture of motherhood if we talk only about its difficulties.
Being a mom is fun, too.
The other day, I was driving along in the minivan when my three-year-old asked, “What do cheetahs say?” I suggested a growly noise. Apparently, it sounded a lot like a grunt, because he asked solemnly: “Is that how cheetahs go poopy?”
The point is that kids help us see the world in a whole new way. They notice the details, the opposites, the implications. They make me realize that I need to pay attention to the words coming out of my mouth.
It’s rather fun to be able to look through the eyes of people who view coincidences, nursery rhymes, and things that match with sheer delight. Did you know that my 20-month old daughter has pajamas with polar bears on them and her three-year-old brother has (wait for it) a stuffed polar bear? My daughter was pretty jazzed when she realized this.
Just because being a mom is sometimes tough doesn’t mean that the other moments--the fun, happy, beautiful, covered-in-sand ones--aren’t every bit as real.
Sometimes my children play together with adorable cooperation. “I will hewp [help] you!” becomes the three-year-old’s chant as he moves his sister’s chair or hands toys to her. He’s even offered to stand at the bottom of the stairs to catch her in case she falls. This is just as valid a reality as the times when he is shouting, “No, no, no,” and she is shrieking back, “Me, me, me!”
Sometimes I sit in the sunshine reading a novel while they play in the sandbox, building their towers and creating all kinds of pretend food. I glance up now and then at their peaceful, happy faces. The solid serenity of those moments is at least as true as the times when they are whining and making messes while I try to cook dinner.
Sometimes we dance together. Sometimes they snuggle up against my chest and listen to storybook after storybook. Sometimes their little eyes light up because I just taught them something they wanted to know. Often, very often, they are some of the best companions in the world.
Being a mom is more than fun. It is a beautiful piece of joy. Let’s not forget that when we talk about motherhood.
After graduating from Concordia Wisconsin, Anna taught in Lutheran schools for several years and became so enthusiastic about Classical Education that she will talk about it to whomever will listen. She is a big fan of Jane Austen, dark chocolate, and the Oxford comma. Anna and her husband live in Pennsylvania with their two small children. Anna's work can also be found in The Federalist.